Statement by H.E. Ambassador Baki İlkin, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, on the Revised Outcome Document of the High Level Plenary Meeting of General Assembly (A/59/HLPM/CRP.1/Rev.1)

Baki İlkin 28.07.2005
Mr. President,

Let me start by thanking Your Excellency and our facilitators cordially for having analyzed all the views expressed and statements made so far on the entire Reform process and for having compiled the "Revised Draft Outcome Documents". Having followed the debate, I can imagine how difficult it was to achieve this.

Turkey has already aligned itself with the statement made by the distinguished Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom on behalf of the European Union.

Mr. President,

The document indeed constitutes a common denominator for all the positions expressed under this roof. It may not be complete. Yet it has successfully consolidated different positions on a great number of issues. Can we try to build on it? Indeed, we can, and we should, during the limited period ahead of us. Yet we should make sure that there is no sliding-back. We must move forward.

Having said this, let me now refer to a number of specific issues related to the draft document.

First, the Peacekeeping Commission. From the very beginning, Turkey has been supportive of the early establishment of this body.

As the core function of this Commission will be to address the special needs of the countries emerging from conflict towards stabilization, the UN civilian police missions in those countries will in the medium and long term definitely play a key role in the process.

Thus, we believe that we should take into account the civilian police aspect of the UN peacebuilding and the contributions of member states to it. Furthermore, as I have raised it in the past, we should also take into consideration the UN authorized peacekeeping operations conducted by regional organizations.

We would therefore like to propose to amend the paragraph 65/iv of the draft, to cover not only the top troop contributors but also the top civilian police contributors to the UN led as well as to the UN authorized peacekeeping operations.

What is more, given their important role in post-conflict development efforts, the countries referred to in paragraph 65B as ad-hoc members of this Commission, should have an equal status with the core members, whenever a country-specific matter is discussed.

We hope that all these ideas will also be accommodated in the third draft as well as in the rules of procedure of this Commission which will be prepared after the September Summit.

Mr. President,

In paragraph 12, the reference made to the need to encourage dialogue, understanding, tolerance and respect among different cultures, civilizations and peoples is most relevant and appropriate. Paragraph 116 further elaborates this issue. In this connection I would like to refer to the Secretary General's recent initiative on the "Alliance of Civilizations", which is being co-sponsored by Turkish and Spanish Prime Ministers.

As it was announced, the main purpose of this initiative is not to compete with but to complement various initiatives and to establish a follow-up mechanism as being suggested by the draft document. I would like to propose that paragraph 116 should be updated and a reference is made to this initiative.

Mr. President,

Unfortunately the scourge of terrorism has become a clear and present danger for the entire universe. It necessitates a unified, determined and coordinated response from the national authorities as well as the international community. Turkey welcomes the Secretary-General's Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We are determined to facilitate and expedite the conclusion of a convention, based on a legal and comprehensive definition of terrorism. Yet, since terrorism has acquired the dimensions of an all-out war, necessitating active involvement of the armed and security forces, an accurate and comprehensive definition of terrorism should be made. Terrorism is indeed causing death and serious bodily harm not only to civilians and non-combatants but also to the members of armed and security forces. Any definition which would leave out the armed and security forces would be incomplete and could be misconstrued by terrorists as an open checque for their attacks against the armed and security forces. Since the final wording of the outcome document on terrorism would have a direct bearing on the discussions taking place in the Sixth Committee on this issue, we need to be more specific and inclusive with the wording to be inserted to the draft document.

Mr. President,

On the issues related to human rights, we need to consider the possible new role and mandate of the Third Committee in light of the Human Rights Council with a view to avoiding duplications. Speaking of this Council, Turkey feels that the total number of the members should be close to 50 rather than 30 or 40 so that it would be comparable in size to the Commission on Human Rights. In order to increase the representative character of the Council, we might consider an arrangement that an outgoing member should not be eligible for immediate re-election. As for the mandate of the Council, we welcome the suggestion that the Council should primarily serve as a forum for dialogue for thematic issues on all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Mr. President,

Allow me to say a few words on paragraph 107 on the protection of and assistance to refugees. The last sentence of the paragraph does indeed make a reference to providing support to the nations faced with refugee problems. This is a very important observation and suggestion. It is evident that countries encountering this problem would not be able to cope with it, unless they receive outside help and support. That is why Turkey has been underlining the importance of "burden sharing", if the international community is to bring a lasting remedy to this problem.

Mr President,

Finally, on disarmament and non-proliferation, we should continue to seek a wide-ranging consensus so that we would be able to deliver a strong message during the summit. In this context, we welcome your new draft text and also support the recent initiative declared by the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Chile, Indonesia, Norway, Romania, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Mr. President,

With your indulgence, we are also circulating, together with the text of my statement, a paper which contains our proposals.